Premier announces Falcon Beach will have shark net installed


Premier Colin Barnett, Dawesville Liberal candidate Zac Kirkup and Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone looks at plans for the shark enclosure.
Premier Colin Barnett, Dawesville Liberal candidate Zac Kirkup and Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone looks at plans for the shark enclosure.

FALCON Beach could be safe for swimmers by next summer, following a petition by residents.

Premier Colin Barnett announced at Falcon today that beachgoers would have access to the sixth State Government-funded protected swimming area.

Ben Gerring (29) died after being bitten by a shark while surfing off Falcon in May last year.

“In the past 100 years there were just 23 shark attacks in WA,’’ he said.

“Something has clearly changed.”

MORE: Labor will scrap plan to widen Guildford Road if elected

MORE: Former journalist still thinks of the families of Claremont murder victims

MORE: Real estate forecast 2017: experts share their tips

Mr Barnett said area patrols had proved effective but having helicopters in the air was very expensive.

Swimming enclosures have proved successful in protected waters at Old Dunsborough, Busselton and Albany and an enclosure at Quinn’s Beach will be installed this month.

An enclosure at Sorrento Beach, which opened last month, had led to record crowds, according to the City of Joondalup.

Mr Barnett said a Liberal Government would allocate $500,000 a year for construction of two enclosures a year and Falcon Bay would be one of the two installed next year.

Dawesville Liberal candidate Zac Kirkup said the beach enclosure would transform Falcon Beach.

“It is already known as a very special beach and the community can be proud of what it has achieved,’’ he said.

The enclosure will run from the reef just off the beach to the reef 200 metres north.

The Government would provide $200,000 to the City of Mandurah which would be responsible for selecting the type of enclosure and overseeing its installation.

Since 2000 there have been 14 fatal shark attacks in WA.